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Convenience stores in Canada - statistics & facts

A convenience store supplies fuel and carries a range of everyday items such as snack foods, coffee, newspapers, print media, and tobacco products. Each Canadian convenience store is relatively small; most have between one and four employees. As of 2020, there were over 7,500 convenience stores in the country that generated over eight billion Canadian dollars in retail sales. Ontario and Quebec, host the most considerable amount, representing nearly 70 percent of the total number.

Most demanded products

  Two years ago, extreme energy drinks were the highest selling product category in convenience stores in Canada, followed by salty snacks and flavored soft drinks. Each of these products had growth in sales that year, but the product with the highest sales growth was meat sticks and beef jerky, at nine percent. In more recent years, trends in convenience stores include healthier options and ready-to-eat meals. In Canada, the interest in a healthier, more conscious way of eating has increased among consumers. According to a survey carried out in 2020 among health-conscious shoppers, the top major concerns at convenience store products were freshness, sugar content, and non-processed food. Moreover, prepared foods are a segment that continues to remain popular in convenience stores. Whether consumers buy sandwiches, fresh baked goods, or any other type of prepared goods, four out of ten shoppers look for freshness and food quality, in accordance with a survey carried out in 2020.

Market leaders

  Alimentation Couche-Tard became the most prominent player, recording a revenue of over 50 billion U.S. dollars in 2020. The Canadian corporation owns well-known brand names such as Circle K and Couch-Tard, and has over 15,000 locations worldwide. Other major players in the industry include Parkland and 7-Eleven. Parkland is a supplier of fuel and petroleum products and a convenience store operator. In Canada, Parkland owns and operates convenience store brands "The Corner Store" and "On the Run". As of 2020, the company generated a revenue of 14 billion U.S. dollars of which the Canadian convenience store category represented three percent.

Many convenience stores are also gas stations and make a portion of their revenue from selling fuel. In the last year available, retail sales of gasoline stations decreased around 18 percent in comparison to 2019. This decrease is mainly coined to the mobility restrictions imposed by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. As of that year, Vancouver was the most expensive place to buy gas.

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Convenience stores in Canada

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Retail sales

Gas stations

C-store leaders

Consumer behavior

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